View Full Version : Innovation series, episode 2: tracking mirror

07-05-2010, 03:58 PM
If you're just jumping in, you'll note that this is episode 2 so hop back to episode 1 for the introduction if you haven't read that yet.

In my family, we ski and wakeboard for pure recreation so we're on public lakes and it's not unusual to have other boats in the general vicinity. Given all that, I'm really particular about knowing exactly where the skiers I'm pulling are. Even though I've got a convex mirror, it's pretty easy for a skier or even wakeboarder to be outside the range of my mirror. I'll typically glance over my shoulder on each pass just to make sure that the skier is exactly where I think they are (when they are out of the range of my mirror). That works okay but I'd prefer to be able to rely on a simple glance in the mirror.

I've been thinking that it would be pretty easy to have a basic motor (probably a stepper motor) on the mirror mount that would track with the skier based on how the rope is pulling the rope saver. There would have to be a sensor in the rope saver but we're not talking about anything that fancy here. As the skier skies to the left, the mirror automatically adjusts further left and so on.

This isn't entirely novel because some cars adjust their mirrors automatically (some have position memory for more than one driver and some point down when you select reverse to help you see curbs). I realize that the video displays can do a form of the same idea too but not all boats (even Mastercrafts) have video displays of the skier, typically the image in a mirror is sharper than a video display, it might be nice to be able to use the video display to show info (speed, rpm, etc) rather than the skier, and I've been thinking of this idea for years - well before video displays came out.

This seems like a pretty straight forward idea to me but there are a few basic options I can think of: sensitivity adjustment, it may be helpful to have a fixed mirror in addition to the adjusting mirror to keep a reference point, and on/off option for personnel preferences.

Again, feel free to throw out some other ideas if you've got them. One final disclosure - if this idea is already out there as an accessory option or something, please let me know. As far as I know, this is a new idea but it seems like someone else has already though of half of my new ideas but I don't always know about it.

Yellow X9
07-05-2010, 04:33 PM
Not a bad idea you have

07-06-2010, 09:38 AM
What they really could do is install a mirror like in the new GM products...GM has installed a small screen in the mirror when you are backing up. I believe it is standard on all Terrains. This stuff is getting very afordable now. The camera is now an option on 2010 boats...so it really could be integrated into the camera...as it follows the skiier. Make the mirror larger and the screen larger. Just my .02.

07-06-2010, 10:52 AM
You could mount a backup camera to one of these...



east tx skier
07-07-2010, 04:48 PM
You could mount a backup camera to one of these...



They've integrated this idea with their product already.